Where are you taking us Mr. Assange?
To a level of freedom any so-called “freedom loving” people seem to despise, that’s where.
At this point in our social development in the West, there seems to be a collective sense of amnesia about what freedom entails. Being Free means accepting risk, sometimes humiliating, sometimes deadly, resulting from openness and the minimization of sociocentric control and the decentralization of power amongst individual social actors.
And this is most particularly true of knowledge in an era dominated by Information/Technology. The cliché that knowledge equals power means that information restriction (by hiding it behind walls of “confidential” and “secret” labels) creates increasing power inequalities. The last decade has seen an explosion of barriers and restrictive labels placed on information under the guise of national security – is it any surprise that we have also seen our rights concurrently diminished? If you don’t agree, just try to fly on a plane in the US whilst retaining your dignity, let alone any slivers of your right to deny unlawful search and seizure (that would be the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, ladies and gentlemen).
The horror ingrained in both the popular and official reaction to Mr. Assange’s crusade for democratic discourse tells us all we need to know about the depth to which our expectations of liberty have been compromised. Accountability and Transparency are not merely words, they are fundamental perspectives necessary for the guarantee of personal liberty and the functionality of democracy. They do not come with groveling subservience to the status quo, they are fought for constantly in the face of forces that continually seek to deny them as a stepping stone to their own antidemocratic aggrandizement. This is a battle that often turns violent – just ask Martin Luther or Martin Luther King, Jr. - Lech Walesa or Thomas Jefferson.
So before you parrot the party line that Mr. Assange is a threat to the national security of the Free World, consider for a moment who is squawking it out – and what they have to lose by what’s being revealed. For if you can’t even do that, you may as well fit yourself for a slave collar now for as much use you are to your fellow liberty-loving residents of what little remains of the Free World.
For your viewing pleasure on the matter of Fundamental Perspective and Democracy: I leave you with this Holiday Treat.